BY KEN LITTLE
A small dog found inside an overheated parked car Tuesday afternoon is fine today after help arrived in time.
Coming on the heels of an incident last week where one dog died and another came close to death after being left in a locked car on a hot day, authorities said the latest incident serves again to remind pet-owners to leave animals at home when going out in the car.
Greeneville police received a call about 3 p.m. Wednesday about a dog inside a car in the parking lot of the former Food Lion supermarket on East Andrew Johnson Highway.
The small-breed dog, apparently a Chihuahua, was panting and appeared stressed, Lt. Steve Spano said today.
The car windows were cracked open a few inches, but the outside temperature was about 85 degrees, Spano said.
The owner had left a bowl of water inside the car, but the bowl was dry when officers arrived. Police were able to unlock the car and free the dog.
County Animal Control was called, and the owner of the car appeared as an Animal Control officer arrived, Spano said.
The woman said she was shopping in the Family Dollar store in the plaza and was only inside the store about 15 minutes.
The dog actually may have been in the car much longer than that, Spano said.
The dog was taken to Animal Control, and eventually returned to the owner, who was not charged.
The woman parked in a shaded area, cracked the car windows about two inches and left the dog water, but the sun apparently shifted when the owner was away from the car.
The owner was "visibly upset" when she returned.
"She attempted to keep the dog cool," Spano said. "She said she didn't think she would be (parked) this long."
The dog was found lying on the car floorboard, attempting to avoid the sun.
Spano estimated the temperature in the car was about 95 degrees.
"I told her, 'Don't take your dog in the car in hot summer weather. If you know you're going to be gone, just leave it at home,'" he said.
Justin House, Greene County Animal Control director, said today the dog was examined when it arrived at the facility on Hal Henard Road.
"We checked it out. In their opinion, it wasn't (in the car) very long at all," House said.
House also recommended leaving pets at home when owners go shopping or take other car trips.
"Even though it's cooler this time of year, when the sun comes through the windows on a car, sometimes it really heats up," he said.
A man and woman from Parrottsville were cited Thursday by Greeneville police for animal cruelty after two dogs were found in a locked car in a parking lot near Takoma Regional Hospital.
The animals had been inside the car for at least two hours in 90-degree temperatures, police said.
One of the dogs never recovered and was euthanized on Friday.
The other remains at the Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society Animal Shelter.
Issued summonses were Roger Lewis Miscovitch, 71, and Susan Rebecca Miscovitch, 54, both of Good Hope Road.
Both had scheduled first appearances today in General Sessions Court.